In "SLC Punk!" writer-director James Merendino paints such averitable, aggressively freeform and nihilistic portrait of the tiny SaltLake City punk scene, circa 1985, that you just know he was there.

He gets the rabid social politics and understands the necessarycultural bent toward belligerence. He can write a double-caffeinated voice-overbrimming with drug-induced psychological and sociological observationsfrom a punker point of view, yet make them lucid enough for sober consumption.

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